Those stumbling, disorganized, dissheveled, late to everything America's sweethearts charming their way through every romantic comedy ever might actually be sick: according to one psychologist, adult women with difficulty managing their lives may be suffering from undiagnosed ADD. And if you, like Sandra Bullock circa While You Were Sleeping, have problems filling out paperwork, keeping your living space clean, and managing your finances, you might have it, too. Someone get you and Ginnifer Goodwin some Addreall, stat!
According to Huffington Post blogger and practicing clinical psychologist George Sachs, there are a lot of women out there who have ADD and aren't diagnosed until it's significantly interfered with their adult lives or their children have been diagnosed with the condition. This may be due to the fact that little girls with a brain imbalance that makes paying attention difficult fade into the background much more easily than their male counterparts. While little boys with ADD often act violent and disruptive, little girls act like sweet shy little withdrawn dreamers with their heads in the clouds. As a result, boys' ADD is managed from childhood to adulthood, but girls' may go undetected. Like yours did. Damn doctors!
Sachs says that there are other symptoms of adult ADD besides general flightiness.
Other symptoms include compulsive overeating, alcohol abuse, chronic sleep deprivation, dysphoria (unpleasant mood), major depression and anxiety disorders. Additionally, women with ADD appear to experience more psychological distress and have lower self-image than men with ADD.
Whoa! I do all of those things (especially the dysphoria)! So do you!
It's important to look at Sachs's proclamation with a critical eye. After all, the internet is the Oprah of medical self diagnoses (You've got cancer! You're dating a sociopath! You've got arthritis! You've got bipolar disorder! You're ALL GETTING DISEASES!), but the internet is also appealing to people with difficulty focusing on one task at once. (The "tab" function on web browsers sure doesn't help with this, either.) It wouldn't be absurd to think that people with difficulty focusing would be drawn to spending time interacting with something that offers constant distraction.
Sachs suggests that before we all Ritalin ourselves to within an inch of our manic pixie dreamlives, we focus on our self esteem and stress levels. It's easy to feel overwhelmed if you're not taking time out for yourself. Watch an episode of My Boys on Netflix (no judgement) or read a magazine or sit in a dark room with a bowl full of peanut M&M's, eating them slowly and one at a time, for half an hour. And stop being so hard on yourself. If you want to be insulted, you've got a whole internet just waiting to sling jerktalk at you.
Women with ADD [HuffPo]